You have been told what to do every moment of the day, for years on end. The voice in your headphones has understood who you are and gives instructions which mirror what you'd be doing anyway. A life free of dither and uncertainty! In your job, this voice is a career-saver... but the day has come when you need to come 'off the headphones'. You need help.

Since 1999 Ant Hampton has explored the use of instructions given live to unrehearsed performers. This gave rise to the ongoing Autoteatro series wherein participants find themselves exchanging audience and performer roles by simply following instructions, often heard via headphones.

GuruGuru is the most adventurous so far. Five participants are led by a sixth, on-screen, animated and somewhat disturbing character whose twin roles of marketing and spiritual Guru are confused by his reliance on untested and accident-prone technologies. The overproduced, digital sheen of our focus-group world cracks open to reveal the dangerous, boiling absurdity within. A hilarious chaos develops, exposing today's consumer-mad inability to distinguish between what we want, and what we need.

FURTHER NOTES & PROGRAMME INFO HERE (nb - spoilers - best read afterwards)

GuruGuru (round-and-round in Japanese) is created by Ant Hampton together with two long-time collaborators -

Isambard Khroustaliov (Sam Britton)

has been involved in nine theatre productions with Ant Hampton since 1993. Rotozaza’s first show with instructions to an unrehearsed performer, BLOKE, was a collaboration between Ant and Sam in Paris,1999. An internationally renowned and pioneering composer of electro-acoustic / contemporary classical music, Sam trained at IRCAM in Paris and is one half of the group ICARUS. 

Icarus , Not Applicable and Isambard's own site

Joji Koyama

Born in Tokyo and based in London, Joji Koyama is an award-winning film-maker, animator and graphic artist. He is the director of the short films 'From Nose to Mouth' (Animate Projects), 'Watermelon Love' (Channel 4, NESTA), and most recently 'First Place' (Animasivo). His films have been widely screened at international film festivals, galleries and museums. He is also known for his work directing music videos under the alias Woof Wan-Bau for the likes of Four tet, Mogwai and Coldcut.

see Joji

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original English version funded by and for Fusebox Festival, USA

Italian version coproduced by Napoli Teatro Festival 2010

French version coproduced by Théâtre de la Cité Internationale

Japanese version coproduced by PARC, Tokyo / Yokohama

German version coproduced by Spielart, Munich

Arabic version co-produced by Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (Cairo)

Facts and FAQ's:

Q - Is there an audience?

A - Only the other four people wearing headphones, doing the piece with you. There is no audience as such, watching.

Q - If it's only for 5 people, is it hard to get a ticket?

A - No, because there's often more than one 'setup' and the piece is programmed hourly throughout the day.

Conceived / directed by Ant Hampton

Sound by Isambard Khroustaliov

Animation / video by Joji Koyama

Guru voice - Peter Donaldson

with thanks to Nexus Productions, Charlie Bell, Alice Scott, Paul Bennun, Ron Berry Jr & Refraction Arts


‘Without giving away too much, I can tell you that for 50 minutes, I sat on a named seat (‘Dickie’ to correspond with my name tag) in a non-confrontational group therapy style semi circle with the other four participants, facing a TV monitor, while we were each sporadically given instructions for what to do and say via headphones. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. As someone with a strong dislike for enforced participation and ‘organised fun’, this may seem to be quite a turn up for the books, but there could be a number of factors that contributed to this (...) The piece unfolds into exactly the kind of performance I enjoy, with quite ordinary people saying quite ordinary things in an increasingly un-ordinary situation, carefully engineered by the artists. And they successfully manage to construct a sense of temporary community without even being in the room – impressive!’

-  from “Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Dickie…” by Rachel Dobbs.

★★★★ - The Times: "hugely entertaining... This smart, mysterious exercise in programmed      

                                    thinking and collective chaos is strange but exhilarating"

★★★★ - The Guardian: "you may find yourself frantically looking for yourself again in the

                                    moments after the performance has finished"

★★★★ - The Herald: "a fascinating hour"                             ★★★★ - Financial Times

by Ant Hampton, with Joji Koyama and Isambard Khroustaliov
2011 German version coproduced by Spielart Munichhttp://www.spielart.orgmenu.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0